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Friday Fundas: Recipe for movies to connect with Audience

Friday Fundas: Recipe for movies to connect with Audience

There are numerous reasons a film script is successful. One of the factors for success is the ability of a movie to connect with the audience.  The more the audience is connecting to the script the more engagement happens and eventually they like the film.

Naturally human beings react to 5 senses see, hear, smell, taste and touch and 6th intellectual sense. If the script is able to connect with the six senses then there is a natural connection that happens.

View of a train through paddy fields
View of a train through paddy fields in Pather Panchali

 

See: Film is a visual medium and it can easily connect to this sense. The visual portrayed connect to the audience. Satyajit Ray’s Pather Panchali has an iconic scene of the kids running through the fields to see a running train. The scene would connect well with people who spent their childhood near a railway line and have experienced this or even run through a paddy field.

 

 

 

 

Slumdog Millionaire Kids running in Dharavi
Slumdog Millionaire Kids running in Dharavi

 

Hear:  Audio plays a very important role in the movie. This is where sound engineering plays a major role. Slumdog Millionaire created the sounds that one would hear in the Dharavi area very aptly which made the visuals look more real.

 

 

 

Smell of the Lunchbox
Smell of the Lunchbox

Smell: This is one of the difficult senses to get across to the audience although there has been experiments made to create smell in theaters based on the visuals but nothing has been put into commercial use yet. However through the characters in the movie or in the dialogues this could be manifested. In the movie Lunch box you see the lead character smelling the tiffin box and leaving for lunch immediately. This would get the audience connected to the scene.

 

 

 

Kahaani - showing road side eateries
A shot from Kahaani with road side eateries

Taste: This again can be conveyed through a visual medium. The movie Kahaani had Kolkata as a character in the movie. The street side chat shops have been used to create an ambience and many scenes involve the actors or the side characters eating in those shops. Lunch box is another good example where food plays a major part of the narration and it is shown beautifully that you end up feeling hungry. This makes the audience relate to the sense of taste.

 

 

 

Making of Mahatma
Making of Mahatma

 

Touch/Feel: Similar to smell this can be narrated through visual elements. Many a times you would have felt goose bumps when watching the movie. In the movie Making of Mahatma when Mohandas starts walking on his own and slowly the scene builds up where more and more people join him the march you get a sense of pride and goose bumps. Compelling narration could manifest a variety of feeling in the audience to have them connected.

 

 

 

 

 

Jurassic Park
Jurassic Park

 

Intellectual: The sixth sense of the human is intellectual and a good script should never “insult the intelligence” of the audience and would never connect well with them. In the movie Jurassic Park Director Speilberg and writer Crichton prepare the audience in the first 20 minutes to create a convincing case for the possibility of recreating the dinosaurs which had got extinct 65 million years ago. This created a very successful movie and also allowed them to create more sequels to this.

 

 

 

Every individual is different and there is not a single movie which everyone has liked it. A movie or a script becomes a hit then many people have connected to it. If it is strongly liked only by a set of people then it gets a cult status. Not all hit movies would have connected to the six senses of the audience but all movies that have failed to do so.

Nimirndhu Nil

Nimirndhu Nil – is a Tamil action drama released in 2014. Aravind grows up in an Ashram and wishes to lead life based on all moral values he has learnt. But he is in for a shock when he comes out of the ashram and starts working. He stands against all immoral values only to find himself get blamed for. Instead of giving into it he decides to connect people across the city who believes in moral values to fight against corruption. Was he successful in his attempt is the plot for Nimirndhu Nil.

Director Samuthirakani has created a brand for himself for making movies with strong social message. Nimirndhu Nil is yet another movie in this genre. The first half of the movie travels around the protagonist identifying various immoral deeds in the society which all of us have taken for granted and are part of it. The approach he takes to bring the wrong doers to light connects with audience well and sets the expectation for a treat as they had seen in movies like Anniyan, Shivaji and so on. However the movie falters in the second half where the screenplay has struggled to untangle the knots it has set in the first half and in the end turns out to be an average flair and the intensity of the message does not have an impact. Overall this is not a bad watch and you might enjoy watching it on TV or DVD.

Wait for TV/DVD

Friday Fundas: Three Act Play

3 Act Play – Popularly known as 3 Act Structure is a technique used in writing and story telling. The entire story or the screenplay is divided into 3 parts, the first part involves introducing the main characters of the movie and their situation. Usually in this portion a unusual situation or challenge occurs in the life of the  protagonist and his/her life will not be same for ever. This marks the end of the first act. In films usually this ranges between the first 20 min to 40 min (in case of Indian movies which are long) of the movie. The second act is the build up phase during which the protagonist is on the quest to solve the problem and the situation gets only worsen with no hopes for a solution. This is the lengthier portion of the movie which lasts about 45 min – 60 min at the end of this act usually the protagonist takes a significant step that no one would easily imagine. The last portion is the climax (usually very slick 10 – 15 min) which leads to the final solution to the original problem and ends with the protagonist solving the problem. An anti-climax happens if the problem is not solved in the expected way…

One of the popular Indian movie Don (1978 Hindi film) and Billa (1980 Tamil film) this structure is followed very clearly. The first act ends when the original Don is killed and the street side singer takes up the challenge of posing as Don. The second acts is all about how he infiltrates into the enemy camp and establishes himself and overcomes challenges one after another. The problem gets worsen when the only police officer who knew his original identity is killed and the protagonist takes a extreme step to bring out the truth. The climax  is how he solves it and emerges victorious. It keeps the audience guessing till the end. In the 2006 remake of Hindi Don, Farhan Akthar made changes to the climax portion converting it to an anticlimax which worked brilliantly as the audience were taken by surprise. The success of the screen play involves how well the writer engages the audience in all the 3 phases. If it is not written well or if you see random situations  just thrown in you do not get connected and end up disliking it. Three act play is not the only structure for writing scripts… there are other formats as well and many of the modern film makers like Tarantino, Guy Ritchie use various improvisations over this to treat the audience differently. In the coming week I will write review on a movie which follows 3 Act structure to the book.

Dum Maaro Dum

Dum Maaro Dum – A suspense thriller  that revolves around drug trafficking and associated crime. ACP Vishnu Kamath a previously corrupt cop looses his family in a road accident. He transforms and he is posted to Goa to clean up the drug gangsters. Lorry a footballer and aspiring student to go to abroad for studies is forced to smuggle drugs to fulfill his ambition. Kamath finds and arrests him. Lorry’s friend DJ Joki tries getting him out of Jail. All the source of drug trafficking leads to a mystery man Michael Barbosa. The story gets engaging as the plot moves towards the search of Michael Barbosa. Did Kamath succeed in cleaning up the drug gangster mob? Did Joki succeed in saving Lorry? Did Michael Barbosa meet the end? – is the rest of the story.

Rohan Sippy is one of the brilliant film makers of recent times. His movies are stylish and does not have any frills attached. They are also noted for new plots and unique way of story telling. Unfortunately his movies do not make a box office blockbuster. Dum Maaro Dum is no exception. It is a brilliant movie but unfortunately did not make a bang in the box office. Probably he doesn’t need so much star value in the flick which is just a distraction.  The hero of the script is the story and not any of the characters. For the enthralling suspense, slick editing and engaging screenplay Dum Maaro Dum is a Must Watch. If you have missed watching this movie when it was released then grab a DVD and watch it…

Must Watch

Good Will Hunting

Good Will Hunting –  Will Hunting is a 20 year old unrecognized genius who works at the MIT University as a janitor and anonymously solves difficult mathematical problems posted by Professor Lambeau. Will gets into a fight with a police officer and the Professor comes to his rescue with an agreement that Will would undergo therapy sessions with Sean Maguire a friend of Lambeau while working with him for advanced mathematics. Will has a rough personality due to the hardships he has faced in the past. He is hard to get through and Sean is the right man who could do so. The rest of the movie is about how Sean Maguire helps Will discover his fears, love, friendship and eventually the biggest decision of his life that would change his destiny.

Matt Damon (Will Hunting) and Robin Williams (Sean Maguire) are heart and soul of the movie. Their interactions sparkle the screen. The script written by Ben Affleck and Matt Damon is the strength of the movie. The movie is straight and simple. As Will discovers his future it touches upon many of footprints of Will’s personality the viewers have within themselves. If you are in mood for a soul searching movie that is truly inspirational … This is a must watch!

Must Watch